Sleep is a core component of the human experience. Everyone needs it, and everyone sometimes struggles to get enough of it.
Since this is such a universal issue, countless approaches and strategies have been developed to help people get better sleep.
Some of these ideas may not be as popular in the United States, but other cultures and communities have found them to be helpful.
Here are six sleep tips from around the world that you may want to try:
Hammocks in the Caribbean
The gentle rocking motion of a hammock can help to lull you into a state of deep relaxation. Embraced by the soft and flexible fabric, your body can feel both supported and cradled, and you may find it easier to let go of your stress and anxiety and drift off into a restful sleep.
Hammocks can be used for both naps or overnight sleep, although they may only be suitable for some. If you are pregnant, have back pain, or are susceptible to motion sickness, you may want to avoid sleeping in a hammock.
Yoga Nidra in India
Yoga Nidra is also sometimes referred to as “sleep yoga.”
It’s a type of meditation that is meant to be practiced while lying down instead of sitting up or performing stretching yoga poses.
It typically involves listening to guided instructions that keep your mind alert while your body sinks into a state of deep rest. You may think of it as letting your body fall asleep while you keep your mind awake.
This can be a very useful tool for relaxing your body, easing your stress and anxiety, and calming your mood, especially when your racing thoughts prevent you from falling asleep at night.
Saunas in Finland
Saunas provide a warming and soothing environment that can help you get the stress and tension out of your body.
Saunas are especially popular in Finland, where they are a key part of socializing and relaxing in the cold dark winters.
The hot and humid temperatures inside the sauna can help to improve your circulation, ease muscle pain, and promote relaxation. People taking regular saunas (5-15 times per month) tend to report better mental health and sleep quality at night.
Foot Baths in China
A warm bath at the end of the evening can be a wonderful way to relax your body and mind before bed.
But if you don’t have time for a full bath, or if you don’t have a bathtub available, you can try a foot bath instead.
This is a popular tradition in China that people use for both relaxation and medicinal purposes.
It involves filling a basin or bathtub with just enough water to soak your feet for 20-30 minutes. Some people even add herbs, fruits, or essential oils to create a soothing and aromatic experience.
Even though your feet are the only body part submerged, the warm water can help promote relaxation throughout your entire body. It also appears to help prepare your core body temperature for sleep.
Siestas in Spain
A siesta is a short mid-day nap, and it’s a popular tradition in Spain, as well as many other places around the world.
Taking a short nap in the afternoon can help to improve your alertness and energy levels for the rest of the day. It can also give you a rejuvenating break in the middle of the day so that you’re not as exhausted in the evening.
Long naps might interfere with nighttime sleep, so try to keep your siesta to 30 minutes or less.